Consumer spending makes up about two thirds of GDP, and Bank of America is doing its part to stimulate the economy—by paying people who make card purchases on the Internet.The bank has launched a web site that gives online banking users up to 20 percent cash back when making online purchases at more than 270 retailers, including Walmart, iTunes, BestBuy and Barnes & Noble. Called “Add it Up,” the site allows users to accrue cash when making debit or purchases, with the money going to an account of the user’s choosing. They can also keep track of earnings at the Add it Up site.The move’s just as much about driving traffic to BofA’s site as it is encouraging spending, but David Owen, a checking and debit exec for BofA, says it’s a way to allow consumes to stretch their money by getting cash back on purchases from hundreds of retailers they do business with regularly.
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The increasing adoption of virtual card payments by accounts payable departments has created an unexpected complication for suppliers: more friction in the processing, posting and reconciliation of payments and receivables. The root of the problem is that most suppliers rely on a manual approach to processing e-mailed virtual card payments. Suppliers are forced to balance their organization’s need for operational efficiency and control with rising customer demand to pay with a virtual card. But a new breed of technology enables suppliers to process virtual card payments straight-through, addressing the needs of buyers and suppliers. This paper details the growth of electronic business-to-business (B2B) payments, shows how manual approaches to processing virtual card payments cause friction in accounts receivables, describes a way to process virtual card payments straight-through, and highlights the benefits of frictionless payments.